Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Cleanse Nears A Conclusion

Wow, so I haven't really talked much about the cleanse lately, have I? Apparently, it took a back seat to the total upheaval of my life via broken foot!

Here's what: I hardly feel like I've been cleansing, and yet, somehow today I woke up feeling light, clean and balanced. Aha, it's actually done its work! It's funny, even with it not being perfect, (as in I had wine a couple of times this week, accidentally had soy once or twice, was sick on Monday and needed scrambled eggs after), the "slow and steady" approach seems to be working. As I've said before, I am usually an all or nothin' type. I juice, or I feast. Well, not all the time, but it's a tendency I fight. So this particular 21-day plan was actually pretty tough for me at the outset. The idea that I had a long way to go till I felt as good as I want to feel was overwhelming. But sitting here on day 20, and looking back at the three weeks, I have to say it was more wonderful than painful. I think this may actually be what I'd call balance!

Hooray! The nutritionist and I agree, this is almost a great place to just "stay". I don't actually have very far I want to go to change things, coming off the cleanse. What will stay the same, and what will change?

Well, I'd like to keep the idea of one to two smoothie/soup/juice meals a day. I have tricky digestion and these somewhat pre-digested meals are a jump start to getting my nutrition in without too much work. That said, I don't want to make it a rule. I'd rather have some flexibility to go with the flow of what I want in any given situation, and especially to be able to be social when I can get out again!

Also, I'd like to keep the big offenders to a minimum. Even though I am in no way a Celiac case, I feel better off wheat and gluten for the most part. I don't want refined sugar to be part of my daily routine. And I don't think I need to allow much dairy into my life, especially with the recent Osteoporosis research on the subject. Soy? Well, I think miso and tempeh are great, but I'll stay away from the refined stuff/fake meats/additives in processed foods, etc. And corn is highly tampered with, but if I can find good non-gmo sprouted organic products there may be some leeway.

On the other hand, I think I've already hit moderation with alcohol. The idea is not every day, and yet, it's not the devil. I was never a big drinker to begin with, didn't even drink in college to speak of, so maybe there's no need to be a teetotaler now, but resisting a few extra times when I don't really really want it will give me a little more leeway for other indulgences and just make me feel like I'm still "on the path'.

I also think I've made a little peace with desserts. I love dessert! I always want it. And recently my go-to has been super dark chocolate, just because it can be small and generally has little sugar. The organic kind is also dairy and soy free, or the ones I buy are. But still, I had begun to eat too much of it, and often I didn't even want it. One CAN overdo chocolate. But I didn't allow myself other treats, and so I was a little trapped and not satisfied.

Enter almond milk cocoa! A cup of almond milk, some dark cocoa or raw cacao powder, stevia, a pinch of salt, a touch of vanilla, and maybe just a squeeze of agave. A treat I can't begin to feel guilty about! And raw chocolate/coconut pudding! A little denser, so maybe needing more moderate portions, but still a relatively guilt-free treat. That recipe to follow in another post by the way!

What's coming back in? Eggs! I love eggs. I mean, they're easy to digest, densely nutritious, and so malleable. I guess I'll never be vegan. But I don't want or need them all the time. Once or twice a week maybe? And I buy the multicolored free range ones from our local farm in Woodstock, so I feel a little better about that. Can't wait to make a burrito in a sprouted corn tortilla with guac and salsa! That could even be dinner.

So really, maybe not that much is changing. I have flowed almost naturally from cleanse to base-line everyday eating. I like to feel clean most of the time anyway, even among going out to very "regular" restaurants. But here's what, I want the fluidity to have a coffee date with friends and try those amazing pretzel croissants they love so much. I need to be able to enjoy the red wine prunes over mascarpone at Frankie's without feeling so remorseful that I ruin it. And I need to sometimes enjoy just too much of everything, but still get up the next day and feel ok about it. Oh, and all this sitting on the sofa makes me bored, and it will be hard not to just sit around and eat without the ashtanga to sort of be a "check in" for how I'm feeling. Ok, so there are still some challenges ahead. But that's a lot of learning and growing for three weeks if you ask me!

I think tomorrow, as a celebration, I will make my chickpeas braised in red wine with sun dried tomatoes and apricots. And if I can stand on my crutches long enough I'll make chickpea socca crepes too! But for now, back to my regularly scheduled green juice. A great way to start the day.

Questions of the day:

A) Have you ever set yourself a challenge to create new habits? What were they? Did it work?

B) What's your base-line happy-place diet? Do you think mine is crazy? :)

For today, over and out.

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